Connected to its neighbouring village, Shimlan, by “The Trail of Peace”, Hima Kayfoun is considered a cultural reunion area, where communities from different backgrounds can meet and enjoy the serenity of nature. This part of the municipal land of Kayfoun was declared as a Hima in 2017 to preserve its natural resources and for sustainable use such as ecotourism especially that it is the first Hima in Mount Lebanon. Being on the flyway of the soaring bird migration over Lebanon, Kayfoun is considered an important site where maintaining bird diver- sity is essential. Therefore, it is a must to protect this area under the Hima concept.
As known to many, SPNL aims to protect nature, birds, and biodiversity of Lebanon to ensure sustainable use of natural resources through the Hima approach. Through Qur’anic Garden, SPNL aims for tackling biodiversity, especially for some of the plants and animals found in the Quran. Through the Trail, SPNL enhances the relationship between two different cultures (Shimlan-Kayfoun). Through Hima Kayfoun Office SPNL enhances the relationship between Hima and the committee and other Parties.
Qur’anic Garden Concept
The concept of the Quranic Garden was launched to serve the “Hima for Peace” project funded by the “Robert Bosch” company, to enhance the local community’s ability to manage natural resources sustainably. The project aims to strengthen the bonds between the neighboring villages of Kayfoun and Chemlane in the Mount Lebanon region, which differ in terms of culture and religion. Kayfoun is a predominantly Muslim village, while Chemlane is primarily Christian. Based on this difference, the idea of establishing a Quranic Garden in Kayfoun and a Biblical Garden in Chemlane came about to connect the two religious and cultural aspects in the two regions and focus on the commonalities mentioned in the holy books: the Quran and the Bible, in terms of plants and animals.
The Quranic Garden is in the Kayfoun village, in the Harsh area on the border between the villages of Kayfoun and Chemlane.
Aim of Qur’anic Garden
The Qur’anic Garden in Kayfoun Village is an important initiative that serves several purposes. Firstly, it helps to increase knowledge and awareness of sustainable management of natural resources and the impact of climate change on local communities. Secondly, it aims to improve the attitude and ability of the local community to cooperate with each other, thereby reducing tension and improving relations.
The Qur’anic Garden has several specific aims. It seeks to introduce the Islamic culture that is related to the environment, thereby fostering an appreciation of nature in this context. It is a means of creating a safe Hima space where people can connect with nature and learn how to take care of plants. By showcasing biodiversity in all its forms, including plants and animals, the Qur’anic Garden helps people experience nature and learn to appreciate its value.
Additionally, the Qur’anic Garden helps to prevent tree cutting, plant destruction and littering. It also plays a vital role in preserving biodiversity in all its forms. The initiative emphasizes Eco-
tourism that supports the local economy, helping visitors appreciate the environment in a sustainable way, establishing a new social connection, encourage people to spend time in nature, increasing the harmony between people and nature Finally, the Qur’anic Garden aims to encourage a better mentality among people, inspiring them to blend in preserving and enhancing nature.
Overall, the Qur’anic Garden is an innovative initiative that has the potential to bring many benefits to local communities. By promoting a better understanding of the environment and encouraging sustainable practices, it has the potential to make a significant impact in the region.
Mount Lebanon Hima Center
The Mount Lebanon Hima Center is situated in the town of Kayfoun, located in the Harsh region near the Quranic Garden, and it serves as the premier fever center in the Mount Lebanon area. Kayfoun is a medium-sized village in the Aley District of Mount Lebanon Governorate. It is positioned northeast of the town of chemlane and offers breathtaking views of Beirut, the sea, and the airport from its western side, along with serene mountain vistas from the eastern side. The village is renowned for being a tranquil summer getaway for Beirut residents. It holds a rich historical heritage, boasting an archaeological fortress known as the Hosson Fortress. In November 2017, a portion of Kayfoun’s municipal lands was declared a protected area to preserve its natural resources for sustainable use, such as eco-tourism. Notably, the Kayfoun Hima Center is the first Hima center in the Mount Lebanon region.
The Mount Lebanon Hima Center features an outdoor garden that overlooks the surrounding mountains, adorned with cedar and pine trees. Adjacent to the garden, there is a small shop showcasing fever-related handicrafts, preserves, soaps, and other products. However, the highlight of this center is its significant birdcage, considered the most important one in Lebanon. Previously, the cage housed six Egyptian vultures, a rare species comprising only 140 individuals worldwide, but they have since been relocated. Currently, the birdcage is home to African vulture, as well as small birds such as goldfinches that have been rescued from hunting. Additionally, the center includes a spacious glass hall and a closed hall used for hosting workshops and activities, along with a small museum displaying archaeological artifacts and a collection of ancient hunting tools. Furthermore, a small library is available, housing numerous books focused on wildlife and nature, encompassing topics such as birds, butterflies, aquatic animals, plants, and much more.
The center hosts a variety of activities, including programs for children aged 8 to 12 years old, as part of the SNOW “School Without Walls” program, which educates children about the importance of nature and how to preserve it through nature walks and meaningful recreational activities. This is followed by the “Homat Al Hima” program, targeting individuals between the ages of 18 and 35, training them on how to conserve and protect the Hima’s lands in their region and manage them sustainably. At the Mount Lebanon Hima Center, various activities of the association are implemented in the area, in addition to collaborations with other organizations dedicated to women’s rights, providing training and empowerment opportunities in the community.
Moreover, the Mount Lebanon Hima Center has hosted prominent figures, including ministers such as the Minister of Environment, Mr. Nasser Yassin, and the Minister of Information, Mr. Ziad Makari, as well as distinguished personalities, mayors, local community leaders, university professors, and academics who have delivered various cultural lectures. The Mount Lebanon Hima Center serves as a rare natural haven in Lebanon, contributing to environmental preservation through its diverse activities that target all age groups. It plays a significant role in connecting neighboring regions regardless of their religious, political, or partisan affiliations, with the aim of protecting nature and the environment.
MLH Center Requirements
- UPS or Solar System
- Center Maintenance
- Wireless Speaker & Microphone
- Laptop or computer
- Hard Drive
- SPNL Signs & Board
- LCD projector & ScreenSummer Events
- Cleaning campaign
- Women empowerment training
- Homat Al Hima Training
- Snow Training for kids
- Exhibition for Hima products